Even though 2015 seems to have already established itself as the year for great movies (Jurassic World, Star Wars 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Terminator: Genesis, Batman Vs. Superman), there’s no reason to discount 2014. This year has been quietly shaping up to be a great year for Sci-Fi, Superheroes and Action, some of which you may not have even heard of yet. In that case, you’re welcome.
Check them out, in no particular order:
Edge of Tomorrow
Synopsis: Edge of Tomorrow is based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and centers on Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) who finds himself caught in a time loop in a future war against an alien race. Cage relives his last day over and over, each time being killed. Through this painful repetition, he eventually becomes a better soldier.
Why I’m Stoked: A big budget Sci-Fi action movie? Time travel? End of the world stuff? Yes, please.
Featured Website: http://www.edgeoftomorrowmovie.com/
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Synopsis: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to the critically acclaimed blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis reprises his role as Caesar, the smartest ape in town.
The science-fiction pic is set 15 years after the first part and centers on the growing nation of genetically evolved apes, lead by Caesar. When a group of humans, who survived the virus that reduced their population drastically, become a threat a peace agreement is reached – a very fragile peace agreement…
Why I’m Stoked: I’ve always been a huge fan of The Planet of the Apes franchise. The Darwinian nod/sarcasm to apes evolving into the intelligent species on the planet and humans devolving into animalistic morons always made me smirk. Then couple that with space travel, time travel, and classic “fish-out-of-water” humor, and it’s quite a creative and engaging cocktail. However, the recent reboot focused more on the personal connection between man and ape, as well as more plausible genetic science. It also started at the genesis of how humanity becomes an endangered species, as opposed to the original or Wahlberg’s attempted reboot, which saved it as plot twist to end the movie. I thought it was quite well done and it really well at the box office, so the sequel is something to be very excited about.
Special Note: Apparently, focus group tests and exec’s at Fox that have seen the sequel loved this movie so much, that they’ve already green lighted and brought back the same director for a third movie!
Featured Website: http://www.dawnofapes.com/#explore
Synopsis: A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
Why I’m Stoked: It’s got Christopher Nolan, a star-studded cast (Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Anne Hathaway, etc), a huge budget, and a lot of secrecy around it. That’s enough to get me interested. The mysterious trailer doesn’t tell you too much, but I can’t wait to see more!
Special Note: Here’s a recent quote from McConaughey on what he can say about this huge film:
“Here’s what I can tell you, It’s the most ambitious thing he’s ever done. And he’s done some ambitious stuff… There’s no fucking around on set. He’s a great problem solver. In that way, he’s very indie. Here’s a guy who could have whatever budget he wants – and we finished shooting early.”
Featured Website: http://www.interstellarmovie.com/
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Synopsis: The title Days Of Future Past suggests that the film will be based on the comic The Uncanny X-Men, which featured a storyline with that title. The latter is set in an alternative future where all mutants are hunted down by giant robots called Sentinels to be held captive in camps. The X-Men must travel back in time to change the course of history in order to prevent this. The beginning of X-Men: Days Of Future Past is set 11 years after its predecessor.
Why I’m Stoked: This could be Marvel finally righting the ship that is the X-Men franchise, which ran a-ground with the horrible X-Men 3 movie. Ever since we’ve been treated to sub-par Wolverine spin-offs and nothing resembling the clear direction and planning that Marvel’s other franchises enjoy (The Avengers). Singer has returned to save the day and the “Day’s of Future Past” storyline is arguably one of the best the comics ever came up with. It also provided a unique and unforeseen opportunity to combine the older cast with the newer, younger counter-parts from the moderately successful X-Men: First Class, which helped give life to the franchise again. It also finally brings The Sentinel to the big screen, something that every fan of both the comics and the 90’s cartoon series we grew up on was dying for. I really hope they don’t ‘F’ this up.
Featured Website: http://www.x-menmovies.com/
The Amazing Spiderman 2
Synopsis: After saving his fellow New Yorkers from crime in all shapes and forms, he can swing home and spend time with the lovey Gwen (Emma Stone). But Peter is about to learn more about the grim downside of being a superhero: With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Spider-Man faces an enemy far more powerful than himself. The return of his friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) also doesn’t make things easier: How come all the villains he fights have one thing in common: OsCorp, the company of Harry’s father, Norman (Chris Cooper)?
Why I’m Stoked: Much like X-men, it appears that Marvel is also trying to recover a once golden franchise from a horrible 3rd movie. The Amazing Spiderman was pretty well liked with Andrew Garfield cast as Peter Parker. And while the bad guy, The Lizard, wasn’t exactly that menacing or entertaining, the reboot of the origin story was done with better care and accuracy (Spiderman has shooters for his webs; they don’t just magically come out of his wrists, duh!) enough that it made it enjoyable. The sequel looks to address everything that the first didn’t: Compelling bad guys, more epic fight scenes, and the progression of a larger movie universe and storyline. There also look to be some serious consequences in this one, with a main character (I won’t spoil it if you’re not already aware) probably dying. I’m sure this one is going to be great. The real question will be whether they can make a 3rd movie without destroying everything the way Sam Raimi did.
Featured Website: http://www.theamazingspiderman.com/
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Synopsis: Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set in the present day, where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) continues his affiliation with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. and struggles to embrace his role in the modern world.
Why I’m Stoked: Captain America was arguably one of the better done reboots by Marvel. The underrated first movie really was well done, even if it ranks below Iron Man and Thor in most fan’s minds. Captain America is the lynch pin in holding the whole Avengers crew together and his conflicts with Iron Man down the road are legendary. Expect this movie to not just be about the Captain, but about S.H.I.E.L.D., and how they end up going more corrupt. I also have a feeling that this movie will greatly set things up on Earth for the next Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, as there are much larger, darker things in play. If you are on the fence about Captain America, everything coming out of Hollywood is that this movie could be the best one they’ve done after the first Avengers. The screen testers have been raving about it (but I’m not linking to it because there’s too many spoilers). So, give him another go. Especially since there are also some serious connections/consequences in this one that come directly from his first movie, as well as setting up and connecting to future Marvel movies (Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, etc).
Featured Website: http://marvel.com/captainamerica
Welcome To Yesterday
Synopsis: David is a lovable nerd who is eager to win the high school science fair. While looking through his late father’s scientific research, he makes an astonishing discovery which allows him to time travel. He also finds a sports almanac: an annual publication of complete sports statistics, including winning teams and scores. Will David succumb to temptation and take advantage of the two? And if he does, will this affect future timelines?
Why I’m Stoked: I’m all for new movies and franchises considering how much Hollywood has to regurgitate stuff. And while this movie idea is indeed a regurgitation of ideas from Back To The Future (they literally have someone time traveling with a sports almanac), at least it’s a new setting, cast of characters, and hopefully a new story that grow into something bigger. Time travel seems to be back in vogue these days and it’s about time (did you see what I did there?). It’s hard to watch this trailer and not be intrigued enough to want to see it. It just looks cool. Check it out.
Featured Website: http://www.welcometoyesterday.com/
Guardians of the Galaxy
Synopsis: The storyline of Guardians of the Galaxy revolves around U.S. pilot Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who ends up in outer space, in the middle of an intergalatic conflict where he then goes on the run with the titular galactic freedom fighters. The Guardians of the Galaxy are galactic freedom fighters who oppose the evil Badoon race – a reptilian-like alien species. The latter occupy the earth of the 31st century. In the original Marvel comics the Guardians team up with Captain America and Thor, who have traveled in time to stage a rebellion against the Badoon.
Why I’m Stoked: Actually, I wasn’t really stoked at all for this one. I was worried it sounded too weird or just lame. But I’ve underestimated Marvel before. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with Iron Man when I heard about it and then it turned out to be freaking awesome. Thor could have been really bad, but I really enjoyed it. Captain America, at a time when I think Americans are far less patriotic and far more cynical, actually worked with his blue star-studded uniform and all. It truly has been amazing how well the team at Marvel has avoided ruining their IP’s with bad casting, bad scripts, bad plots, etc. So I’m reserving judgement and looking forward to this one on reputation only. The trailer is actually pretty funny too, which has been a hallmark of Marvel films. They’re never above laughing at themselves, and I think that formula has worked really well for them. Check it out…
Synopsis: The Matrix’ sibling duo Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski are directing the sci-fi action flick Jupiter Ascending, their galactic take on Snow White. The story centers on a Russian immigrant (Mila Kunis) whose life is turned upside down when she’s discovered to possess the same perfect genetic makeup as the alien Queen of the Universe, thus posing a threat to her immortal reign. A bounty hunter, played by Channing Tatum, is dispatched to ensure that the Queen’s legacy remains safe. In classic fairy tale fashion, however, the bounty hunter falls in love with the unsuspecting heroine, throwing a wrench in the evil queen’s plan.
Why I’m Stoked: I’ve always been a fan of the Wachowski siblings. Their unique visual style coupled with their out-of-the-box penchant for philosophical plot twists as intrigued me. They know how to make blockbuster eye candy, but give you something to think about as well. I remember watching Cloud Atlas and thinking, “Man, it would awesome if they just did a whole movie just on futuristic cities and space travel.” It looks like I got my wish with Jupiter Ascending. And don’t be scared off by the “Snow White” comparisons, I have a feeling that the movie will be more loosely based on the fairy tale, than an actual adaptation. These guys are too creative for that.
It’s Like: Terminator, but instead of action or time travel, it’s drama about how Skynet got created and became self-aware, from the perspective of Skynet’s lover, who saved Skynet’s life by uploading it to the computer. Or something like that…
Synopsis: Transcendence centers on Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the world’s foremost expert on Articial Intelligence. When Will is assassinated by anti-technology terrorists his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and their mutual friend Max (Paul Bettany), both also scientist, find a way to upload his brain into a prototype supercomputer, thus creating the world’s first machine with fully-formed consciousness. But along with Will’s transcendence comes an unlimited amount of power, which together with his unquenchable thirst for knowledge becomes a threat of unforeseen proportions…
Why I’m Stoked: Jokes aside, I think this will be a cool movie. It’s from Christopher Nolan’s Director of Photography, as he sits in the Director’s chair for his first major film. The cast is incredible and while the story seems somewhat tired (based on trailers), it still looks to be a compelling cerebral thriller about the thin line between Human consciousness and whether we are nothing more than electrical signals encased in meat, nerves and bones.
These movies may well be good and I will probably attempt to see most of them, but they just didn’t make the cut as “most anticipated” movies.